Urschel selected as a finalist for Senior CLASS Award

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Penn State senior John Urschel (Williamsville, N.Y.) has been selected as a finalist for the Senior CLASS Award, presented by Premier Sports Management, which is awarded to an NCAA FBS student-athlete that excels on and off the field.          

The 2012 first team All-Big Ten guard and first-team Capital One/CoSIDA Academic All-American is one of 10 football finalists for the award. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as a senior at an NCAA Division I FBS program and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence: community, classroom, character and competition.

Urschel, Derek Carr (Fresno State) and Gabe Ikard (Oklahoma) are the nation’s only players selected as a Senior CLASS finalist as well as a National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete.

An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School (CLASS), the award program is designed exclusively for college seniors who are utilizing their complete athletic eligibility, remaining committed to their university and pursuing the many rewards a senior season can bring.

The 10 finalists were chosen by a media committee from the initial list of 30 candidates and nationwide fan voting begins immediately to help select the winner. Fans can vote daily and the votes will be combined with media and Division I head coaches’ votes to determine the winner. The Senior CLASS Award winner will be announced in early January.

Fans can vote for Urschel daily through Dec. 16 at seniorCLASSaward.com.                        

Already this season, Urschel has been named a recipient of the National Football Foundation’s Scholar-Athlete Scholarship and is a finalist for the William V. Campbell Trophy, endowed by HealthSouth, presented to the nation's premier college football Scholar-Athlete.

A 6-3, 301-pound guard, Urschel has established himself as one of the nation's exceptional football student-athletes. A 2012 first team CoSIDA Academic All-American, he has earned a 4.0 grade-point average during his Penn State career.

Urschel has started 20 consecutive games for Coach Bill O'Brien's squad. He earned first team All-Big Ten honors last season after blocking for a 1,000-yard rusher in Zach Zwinak and 3,000-yard passer Matt McGloin. He is on the Watch Lists for the 2013 Outland Trophy and the Rotary Lombardi Award.

A Penn State game captain three times in the first eight contests this season, Urschel earned his bachelor's and master's degrees in mathematics over the past four years. The former Canisius High School standout anchors the Nittany Lions' offensive line, and is working on a second master's degree, in math education.

Urschel has an opportunity this fall to earn his fourth straight nod on the Academic All-Big Ten squad, his third selection to the Capital One/CoSIDA Academic All-District team and his second Capital One/CoSIDA Academic All-America selection.

Urschel taught a section of Math 041 -- Trigonometry and Analytic Geometry -- during Penn State's spring 2013 semester and is teaching a section of Math 232 -- Integral Vector Calculus -- this semester, in addition to his academic and football responsibilities. Urschel has participated in the Penn State Lift for Life, THON events, the Relay for Life and the Special Olympics Pennsylvania State Summer Games during his collegiate career.

A paper written by Urschel titled, "Instabilities of the Sun-Jupiter-Asteroid Three Body Problem" was published in 2012 in the journal, Celestial Mechanics and Dynamic Astronomy. He has a second paper accepted for publication, "A Space-Time Multigrid Method for the Numerical Valuation of Barrier Options," in the journal Communications in Mathematical Finance.

Penn State (5-3, 2-2) visits Minnesota (7-2, 3-2) at noon Saturday. The game will air on ESPN2, the Penn State Sports Network and www.GoPSUsports.com.

Tickets are available for the Nittany Lions' final two home games against Purdue (noon Nov. 16 - Military Appreciation Day) and Nebraska (TBA Nov. 23 - Senior Day). For information on single game tickets, as well as club seating in Beaver Stadium, fans can visit www.GoPSUsports.com/tickets or call 800-NITTANY from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays.

Penn State Athletics is on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/pennstatenittanylions) and Twitter (http://www.gopsusports.com/ot/socialmedia.html).

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Last Updated November 07, 2013